Thousands of Americans made sacrifices during World War II. Many spent years overseas fighting, while others did what they could at home to assist those on the front lines.
Recently, the Historical & Cultural Society of Clay County opened a new exhibit titled “Doing Our Part: Clay County in WWII”. This exhibit explores the stories of people in Clay County who were affected by the war.
One section of this exhibit features the role that the Red Cross played in World War II from 1942-1946. Historian Mark Piehl found a lot of information on the efforts of the Red Cross while doing research.
*The Red Cross involved more Clay County residents in the war effort than any other volunteer organization. The Fargo Forum reported that in 1943 alone over 10,000 residents took first aid, home nursing and nurse’s aid classes; knitted and sewed clothing for soldiers and went door to door raising funds.
*Five thousand women produced over 175,000 badly needed surgical bandages, each hand rolled. The County’s population was just of 25,000. Cass County residents made similar contributions.
The exhibit features many historical pieces from that time period including Red Cross clothing, photos, and pins.
“The Red Cross was essential to supporting, in particular, soldiers fighting overseas,” said Maureen Kelly Jonason, Executive Director of the Historical & Cultural Society of Clay County. “They helped facilitate communication between soldiers and families and provided comfort in hard times.”
The Red Cross’ unwavering commitment to members of the U.S. military, its veterans and their families continues to grow and develop more than a century after Clara Barton first recruited nurses to support the U.S. Army.
“It’s great to have this historical perspective of our organization and be a part of this exhibit,” said Judy Green, Red Cross Dakotas Region CEO. “To know that many people dedicated their time with our organization is incredible.”
If you would like to visit the exhibit, it is on display until December 31, 2015 at the Hjemkomst Center in Moorhead, MN at 202 1st Avenue North. More information can be found at www.hcscconline.org.